Tree Service

One ant to another: ‘I have arranged flower no 124, how far have you come?’

Foliar uptake of nitrogen from ant fecal droplets: an overlooked service to ant plants*

Always look for miracles ❤️


*Journal of Ecology torsdag d. 31. august, 2017 (DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12841).

“We have shown for the first time that nutrients from the ants’ excrement are taken up by the leaves and transported around to other places in the tree,” says senior researcher Joachim Offenberg, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, who led the study.

“It has great ecological significance. The ants, which primarily feed on insects in the trees, transform the insects and, so to speak, serve the nutrients on a silver platter to the plants. Yes, you could almost say that the plants get their nutrition intravenously right where the need is ,’ explains Joachim Offenberg.

19 thoughts on “Tree Service

    • Some of them do bite very good indeed 😃
      It’s probably the warrior ants 😎🎈❤️
      No the worst bite is from the bullet ant:

      What ant has the worst bite?
      Pain Level 4 is the highest level in the Schmidt sting pain index. Schmidt’s original index rated only one such example, the sting of the bullet ant, as a 4. Schmidt described the sting as “pure, intense, brilliant pain…Wikipedia

    • Ashley, since I published my post I’ve read up on my ‘ant curriculum’ a bit 😊
      And I continue to be even more impressed ❤️🎈 Those ants are excellent insects 😊

      • Amazing! Only the other day I learned that fish have been recorded making music! Seriously! 🐟🐠💓🙋‍♂️

    • It is stunning isn’t it 😎 If ants have to cross a ‘gap’ they construct a ‘rope’ by holding on to each other.
      Someday, when you’re on a picnic and you see your gingerbread sailing down the stream in an ant-engineered dinghy, remember what you wrote to me 😃😃

    • Thanks a lot, Ab! The greater the insight, the more indulgence 😃❤️
      Once you know how ants work together, they can easily run away with the picnic basket 😊

    • Thank you. Symbioses are interesting.
      We knew that ants can do a lot of tricks, but trees are not left behind ❤️🎈😃

  1. WOW, we didn’t know about this kind of feeding.
    We knew that ants keep aphids they milk like we keep cows.
    Thanks and cheers
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • It is absolutely unique and one never ceases to marvel when studying ants 😊😎❤️
      Thanks and greetings,

  2. Not everyone loves ants but love or hate them…. you have to admire their skills, work ethic, and family support. We could do worse than try to emulate them 1 😃

    • That’s so true, David 😃
      It will be difficult to live up to.
      A small curio:
      Who wants to hang from the ceiling with a belly full of water, to be used as a drinking bottle. 🚰
      It’s amazing what those ants can do!! 😎

    • Thanks a lot, Peter! It’s really fascinating how ants organize.
      The social interaction is impressive.
      Speaking of my post, I have often wondered why there were ants in the mirabelle trees and what they were doing there.
      But here it is not to the benefit of the tree. The ants actually milk the aphids for sugar. They keep cattle 😃😃

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